SEOUL, April 17 (Korea Bizwire) – Wandsbecker, a small German city on the outskirts of Hamburg, is home to a small building with a red sign that says ‘Seoul Station’.
At first, it looks like a Korean restaurant, but it is in fact a dance studio specializing in K-pop choreography.
This studio was opened by Singaporean German Yayi Chen and Makoto Koop, two huge K-pop fans, on May 18 last year.
Chen also runs J-Store right next door, where he sells Japanese manga, magazines, videos, posters, and clothes.
At the studio, six instructors including Chen are teaching K-pop dance to some 100 students separated into beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes.
“K-Pop is the most popular form of music and dance for youths around the world. It allows people to connect and exchange worldwide,” Chen said.
They named the studio ‘Seoul Station’ since stations connect all regions, and because Seoul Station represents South Korea and how it is connecting K-pop fans around the world.
Chen, who fell in love with K-pop in 2007, learned K-pop dance at the Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles, and participated in a series of programs for instructors at other studios.
He has participated in a series of K-pop dance competitions held in Singapore and Germany, and won first place at a competition in Hamburg, which brought him to Changwon, South Korea where he performed at the K-pop World Festival.
Chen is not only familiar with dance moves, but also with knowledge and understanding of K-pop.
A local German newspaper, the Hamburg Abendblatt, cited Chen’s article, “Why K-pop is Popular Worldwide”, in its coverage of K-pop.
“A K-pop performance is not only vibrant, but also very sensual and seductive, while it also can be quite traditional,” Chen said. “What the stars wear is enough to satisfy the young audience.”
Chen thinks that K-pop is taking on the responsibility to tell the world about the Korean culture, ranging through film, food, and language, and has brought South Korean culture to the forefront.
So far, local German newspapers including the Hamburger Abendblatt, Berliner Morgenpost and television channels such as NDR and RTL TV have produced reports on Seoul Station dance studio.
“BTS topped German charts three times already, and set a series of world records,” said Chen.
“I hope that Seoul Station dance studio can serve as an important platform to tell the world about South Korea.”
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)